Sunday, October 16, 2011
49ers send Lions home with first loss
In one of the more unlikely marquee NFL games in recent seasons, the San Francisco 49ers handed the Detroit Lions their first loss of the season and ended Detroit’s winning streak at nine games, which was one shy of the longest in team history.
San Francisco improved to 5-1 for the first time since 1998, and are now 3-0 on the road this season. It is their first three-game road win streak in a single season since 1997.
This was just the third time in franchise history that the 49ers beat an undefeated team on the road this late in the season.
Frank Gore rushed for a season-high 141 yards and tore through the Lions defense for rushes of 47 and 55 yards between the tackles.
Overall, 138 of Gore’s 141 rushing yards came between the tackles, which was a significant increase from his first five games. The Lions aggressive pass rush opened up lanes for Gore, as he averaged 8.3 yards before first contact on his rushes up the middle.
Alex Smith struggled for much of the game, barely completing half his passes with a pick. But he did come through in the clutch, completing a six-yard, fourth-down go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Delanie Walker with 1:51 left.
The 49ers quarterback has now completed three passes in the red zone when targeting his tight ends this year with all three going for touchdowns. Smith is the only quarterback in the NFL with five touchdowns and no interceptions when targeting his tight ends anywhere on the field this season.
This was the third game-winning, fourth-quarter comeback drive in a ROAD game that Smith has led this season. Only one other quarterback in 49ers history has done that in a single season - Joe Montana had four in 1989 and three in 1990.
Eagles 20, Redskins 13
The Eagles jumped out to a 20-0 lead and held on for a 20-13 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon, snapping their four-game losing streak.
Philadelphia entered the week ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing 140 yards per game, but held the Redskins to 42 yards. The Eagles, on the other side of the ball, continued their success on the ground, adding to their NFL-best rushing total with 192 more yards.
The Eagles, who were tied for the worst turnover margin in the NFL at -10 entering this game, forced four turnovers while only giving it up twice. Kurt Coleman picked off three passes to become the first Eagles player with three interceptions in a game since Joe Scarpati in 1966.
Rex Grossman threw a career-high four interceptions and became the first Redskins quarterback to throw at least four picks and no touchdowns since Tim Hasselbeck in 2003. The Redskins have now lost three straight games against Philadelphia and are just 2-10 vs the Eagles in Washington since 2000.